FreeDOS on VMWare Player

DOSBox is a great DOS emulator, but I wanted to be able to save my high scores in my games, so I decided to set up a DOS VM. I installed VMWare Player to set up VMs. It’s a good free option, but you have to fill out a ridiculous sign-up form to get to the downloads. I put up with it anyway.

Step 1) Download FreeDOS iso. I went with the base cd.

Step 2) Create a new virtual machine using that iso. For some reason, Player recommends a ridiculous amount of hard drive space. I put it down to .5 gigs. I left everything else using the defaults.

Step 3) Don’t use XFDisk. This thread helped me out.

Select this option: “Run FreeDOS from CD-ROM (return to command prompt)”

You’ll get a prompt that looks like you’re running from the X drive: “X:\>”

Step 4) Run fdisk. Select the defaults, say yes to everything. Reboot.

Step 5) You’ll probably get an error when it reboots. It’ll say Invalid operating system or something. This error happens because it’s trying to boot from the hard drive and you haven’t finished the install! You need to boot it from CD. So, get your fast fingers ready.

Send ctrl-alt-del to reboot the system. Quickly click the screen to get into the VM. Then, hit ESC to get to the boot menu. Select the cd-rom.

Step 6) Continue through the FreeDOS install, selecting defaults.

Tomorrow: BONUS STEP!

5 thoughts on “FreeDOS on VMWare Player

  1. Matt

    Thanks, this really helped a lot. Most of the resources out there are way over-complicated or videos that play at 100 mph.

  2. Joe

    To give you time to interact with the BIOS during boot, add the following line to your VM configuration file :

    bios.bootDelay = “4000”

    Said file will be somewhere such as :

    C:\Users\MyUserName\Documents\Virtual Machines\FreeDOS\FreeDOS.vmx


  3. Jesse Cochran

    I used your steps to make a pre-made VMware image for download on 4shared, so people can save lots and lots of time.

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